City Council Approves $60M Contract with Metro for LA River Bike Path

Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Pgiam / iStock / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The City Council approved a $60 million contract with Metro Wednesday for the design and construction of the Los Angeles River Valley Bike Path Project, which includes the development of approximately 15 miles of a new bike path and greenway.

The council voted 13-0 -- with Paul Krekorian and Curren Price absent from Wednesday's meeting -- to accept funds from Metro, allowing the city to move forward with the project along the LA River in the San Fernando Valley.

The project would fill in gaps in the path between Vanalden Avenue to the west and Forest Lawn Drive/Zoo Drive to the east, spanning Council Districts 2, 3, 4 and 6.

"This project, the valley completion project, seeks to complete 15 total miles of off-street pathway and on-street network by 2028, which could be really exciting and transformative for people," said Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who represents the Fourth District.

"We're looking to be bicycle commuters, and reshaping how we approach how we get around the city," she added.

Improvements will include pedestrian walking paths, decorative fencing and gates, roadway crossings, pet waste stations, drinking fountains, lighting, operational and wayfinding signage, site furnishing, educational elements, stormwater runoff and green landscaping and irrigation.

According to a report, the 12-foot-wide asphalt bike path will be designed per state standards and in accordance with the city's 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, 2010's Bicycle Plan and the 2014 Los Angeles Department of Transportation's Great Streets Strategic Plan.

"The completion of the LA River trail system will improve regional livability by providing expanded active transportation options with new access to transit, homes, schools, jobs, nature, recreation and other community- servicing amenities," the report says.

Councilwoman Imelda Padilla, who represents the Sixth District, supported the expenditure, but said she will be introducing a motion calling for community outreach to address concerns about how the project might impact a nearby dog park.

"I definitely think that there is work to be done to make everybody happy," Padilla said.

In December 2022, Metro provided the city with a draft funding agreement for the design and construction of the project. Metro will provide $60 million of Measure M money as matching funds to complete the project.

The agreement includes a provision allowing Metro to make adjustments taking into consideration future inflation. The total cost of the project is estimated at $170 million, but may increase to upward of $200 million.

The city would be responsible for providing the remaining funding, which could potentially be $140 million, according to the report. The city has secured funding, or will be provided funding through grant and funding agreements, which include the following:

-- approximately $60 million from Metro via Measure M;

-- approximately $3 million from L.A. County funds;

-- $52.9 million from state funds provided by the Active Transportation Program;

-- $6.7 million of Measure M of local returns, and

-- $3 million from various city funds.

The shortfall would be addressed in the future through city funds, and other federal and state grant funds, officials said.

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